Going on a "cross-country" trip is something I've always wanted to do...but something I never thought I would do. Well, I got that opportunity recently when my good friend Michael Patton from Indianapolis, Indiana was driving...yes driving to Los Angeles! Mike was going to Los Angeles to photograph his Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams football game at the landmark Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. See, Mike doesn't fly AT ALL, but will drive around the world to photograph his Colts. I honestly believe if the Colts were playing on the moon, Mike would find some kind of way to get there...by car of course! Driving at night is something I hate to do, but since I was just “riding” along, it was cool! Once Mike arrived in Chicago to pick me up on Thursday evening, it was on the road we go! It was good driving through the night because traffic was extra light with no construction headaches. The bad thing was that I couldn’t see the sights and take pictures. But going through Iowa, Nebraska and the mountains of Colorado was great because it was very interesting seeing the shadowy outlines of the Colorado rocky mountains in the dark. Once we arrived in Denver early Friday morning, and since it was the half-way point we stayed over, which was good for me. That gave me a chance to photograph a few hours around Denver.
Saturday morning we got back on the road. Leaving Colorado early got us going into Utah’s sunrise, which was spectacular at best! And having an 80 mile speed limit was just right for Mike Patton who loves putting the “pedal to the metal”. But he did slow down long enough for great shots of the sun reflecting off the mountains and rock formations. Oh, don’t tell anyone, but I actually stood in the middle of the road at times and got some great shots (no traffic was coming). Leaving Utah heading into Arizona brought more spectacular views of mountains and rock formations. By this time, for someone who only shoots sports, Mike had gotten the “Raymond Boyd” bug and began showing his excitement as I was screaming out: “Pull over and let me get this shot!” Going through Arizona was so much fun, but heading into Nevada was even better! This was because the cloud formations were off the meter…making for great mountain photos with nice clouds! Plus, I was even more excited about Nevada, because we were definitely heading towards Las Vegas.
We got into Las Vegas Saturday afternoon, found a parking lot downtown and we got out and got our shooting on. After a few hours, we head to our final destination…Los Angeles. We arrived in Los Angeles Saturday night just in time for me to do some night shooting. I checked into my hotel in downtown Los Angeles, and Mike headed across town to his condo on Hollywood Boulevard because he “got it like that”. After 2 1/2 days in Los Angeles, we head back to Chicago early Tuesday morning. On the road, I didn’t take many pictures this time mainly because we were driving into the sun and I was just reflecting on the great time I just had. But I did so some spectacular video, though! We stopped at the Colorado/Utah state line to photograph it. And further into Colorado, we stopped at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail marker to document that as well. We also stopped at a Colorado “look out” point for more spectacular photos of mountains and clouds. Once again, we stayed overnight in Denver, but not before heading over to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos football team. Shooting around the football stadium was great because the sun was setting on the stadium making for great images. Back on the road Thursday morning, heading back into Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and the final home stretch into Chicago that evening was more than welcomed after a long, but successful first “cross-country” trip. Would I do it again? Of course I would…this is what I do!